Caring for an aging dog is something that isn’t discussed much, but it is such a vital part of their journey through life. There are quite a few things that we can do as pet parents to help them transition well into their golden years.
There is nothing better than puppy kisses, little razor teeth wrist hugs, and hours of silly puppy play. Adding a four-legged member to the family is an exciting time. Sometimes we forget that these goofy furballs turn into older dogs that might struggle with incontinence, rickety bones and joints, hearing loss, vision loss, a cranky demeanor, and, often, dementia.
Let’s take a look at ways we can best care for our beloved sugar-muzzled furbabies.
Regular Exercise for Senior Dogs
Adequate daily exercise is critical to your pet’s health. Your pet needs the opportunity to stretch their muscles, move their joints, and use the bathroom.
Dog walking services will be your saving grace. So often, our work schedules, extracurricular activities, children’s schedules, and after school commitments keeps us from getting home to let our pets outside as often as we would like. Utilizing dog walking services will be one of your best investments. This is especially true for your aging dog suffering from incontinence, or age-related bladder control issues.
As they sit there with their paws crossed, waiting to go outside, rest assured, Space Coast Pet Services has you covered. To avoid any mishaps on your rug or furniture, and to keep your four-legged friend exercised and healthy, we offer dog walking services catered to your pet’s ability and speed.
Regular Veterinarian Visits Keep Senior Dogs Healthy
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, semi-annual vet visits are vital in your dog’s older years. This ensures that any medical condition that should arise be detected early and treated appropriately. Early detection and intervention is key!
It is a good time for your provider to look over your dog and check for any diseases that could be starting, along with checking the dental health of your furry friend. Also, vaccines should be kept up to date per your vet’s schedule. Their immune systems are not as robust in their older years.
Staying on top of their health via regular check-ups is one way to keep your pet happy and healthy.
Pet insurance might be a good option for your family. Protect your pet and your wallet by ensuring your pet today. Healthy Paws could help you save 90% on your pet’s vet bills. If you use this link to apply, Healthy Paws will donate $25 on your behalf to help homeless pets.
High-Quality Diets for Older Dogs
It is essential to select a dog food that is right for your pet. Many aging dogs have issues with their weight. They are typically less active and become overweight. Lower-calorie, nutrient-dense dog food is vital for these dogs.
Some dogs struggle with eating and maintaining their weight. In these situations, it is important to find a dog food that has an increased calorie content. Several other dietary restrictions may apply, so it’s imperative to meet those needs by selecting the best food possible.
Regular Grooming as Dogs Age
Fido might not care what he looks like anymore, but grooming is still a very important part of your dog’s overall health. Keeping your senior pup’s nails trimmed, hair brushed, and keeping their skin healthy is very important.
Many dogs suffer from skin irritations, dry skin, and other dermatological issues. Using a high-quality shampoo and brushing regularly will keep mats and tangles down, but will also help keep their coats shiny and their skin moisturized. Just be careful to avoid washing them too much. They still need their natural oils from their skin! Over-washing will strip away these natural oils.
Special Accommodations for Aging Dogs
Just like aging humans, our aging dogs need special accommodations. Climbing stairs, jumping up onto furniture, and into cars might be troublesome for their older bodies. It is important to provide comfortable bedding, possibly some type of memory foam.
Additionally, pet owners should try and deter their dogs from jumping from furniture or vehicles. As they age, they become more prone to hip and back problems. Helping them by providing stairs or ramps will avoid accidents and injury.
Pet Care for Your Senior Dog While Away
It’s inevitable; you have a wedding to go to and will be gone all week. The guilt of leaving your dog at a kennel is gut-wrenching. You know that they will be stressed out, scared, and uncomfortable. You sometimes wonder if your dog will “make it” while you’re gone.
Older dogs do better while being cared for in their own home. They know their surroundings, can navigate better and are more comfortable in their beds. In-home pet visits are a fantastic way to enjoy life, without the guilt of boarding grandpa Fido in a kennel, sitting in a cage all day waiting for you to come back. How sad is that at the end of their journey with us?
Space Coast Pet Services offers just the thing for you! Drop-in home visits can be customized to meet your pet’s needs. Medication administration is always covered at no additional charge with us.
As you can see, there are many things to consider when caring for your older dog. They are a part of your family and need you the most during this confusing time in their lives. Keeping them happy and healthy will ensure you and your dog enjoy their golden years together!
Check out our blog on pet loss. Inevitably, we need to be prepared as our loved ones, including pets, will cross the rainbow bridge someday.
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born in 2016! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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